Independent Rajya Sabha member Rajeev Chandrashekhar on Friday sought discussion and passage of his private member’s bill seeking to declare Pakistan a state sponsor of terrorism and to end trade relations with it.
Seeking consideration of his “The Declaration of Countries as Sponsor of Terrorism Bill, 2016”, Chandrasekhar said that the Uri attack of September 18, 2016, “marked a turning point…I publicly promised that I would take on the important responsibility of calling Pakistan for what they are and have been for several years — a sponsor of terrorism.”
The bill, which was introduced on November 18 during Parliament’s winter session, intends to “declare any country as state sponsor of terrorism and withdraw economic and trade relations with the such country and to create legal, economic and travel sanctions for citizens of that country” among others.
It holds that Pakistan “propagates and harbours agents of international terror who have repeatedly attacked the territory and people of our country” and “poses a continual risk to the peace and security of the region”.
Speaking to IANS about his bill, Chandrasekhar said that the most important objective is to have Parliament debate what most people feel.
“Since 1994, when Parliament passed a resolution against Pakistan, it has never passed any resolution. I think Parliament should reflect popular public view which is Pakistan must be made to account for its actions,” he said.
Parliament unanimously adopted a resolution on February 22, 1994, emphasising Jammu and Kashmir was an integral part of India, seeking Pakistan vacate parts of the state under its occupation and condemning the support it is extending to terrorist activities in the state.
On bilateral relations, Chandrasekhar said: “Let us start a comprehensive dialogue on Pakistan. In addition to military action, like surgical strike, should our country not introduce trade, business, economic and cultural sanctions against Pakistan?”
His bill also calls for “India to oppose any loan or other use of the funds of any International Financial Institution to a state sponsor of terrorism”.